Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology

Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950).  Spoon River Anthology.  1916.

15. Mrs. Benjamin Pantier

I KNOW that he told that I snared his soul 
With a snare which bled him to death. 
And all the men loved him, 
And most of the women pitied him. 
But suppose you are really a lady, and have delicate tastes,         5
And loathe the smell of whiskey and onions. 
And the rhythm of Wordsworth’s “Ode” runs in your ears, 
While he goes about from morning till night 
Repeating bits of that common thing; 
“Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?”  10
And then, suppose: 
You are a woman well endowed, 
And the only man with whom the law and morality 
Permit you to have the marital relation 
Is the very man that fills you with disgust  15
Every time you think of it—while you think of it 
Every time you see him? 
That’s why I drove him away from home 
To live with his dog in a dingy room 
Back of his office.  20



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